Western Sydney Airport speeds up decision making.

With a finance and HR system from Workday, Western Sydney Airport gains insight to make better decisions, faster.

Gained powerful reporting capabilities

Delivered friction-free workflows

Resolved issues on the spot

Easily updated chart of accounts

As a greenfield site, Western Sydney Airport (WSA) was looking for a finance and HR system that would grow with it. “Because we were in start-up mode, we just needed things to run – in weeks, not months”, explains Chief Technology Officer, Tom McCormack. “We started with a fragmented information model, which was fine at the time. But we knew we had to move quickly to implement a centralised system to get our data model under control.” 

“Because we’re so young as an organisation, the most valuable asset we have right now is information. So, we need to maintain it, understand it and have it available.”

I’m the luckiest technologist in Australia, because I get a clean sheet of paper to design our future. Workday fits my world because it maintains its currency by design.

Chief Technology Officer

Intuitive user interface and fast development cycles.

WSA put out a rapid request for solution, choosing high performer ERP Companies from the Gartner Quadrant model. Tom says Workday had two standout features. “Obviously the user interface was number one. It’s the same simplicity people are used to with Google and Apple. It makes education minimal and the uptake by the organisation extremely high.” 

“Number two was Workday’s innovative roadmap and rapid development cycles – that six-monthly refresh of enhancements and features. Even if a competitor had a more complete capability, we could see that, in two to three years, Workday was going to surpass their capabilities, and then accelerate into the future because the system is so well-architected.” 

“We also felt that being part of the Workday community would give us voting rights to get some aviation focus in areas in the financial system.”

Powerful reporting capability speeds up decision-making.

Workday’s reporting means WSA executives better understand the organisation’s operations and processes, and the financial impacts of the decisions they are making. “The base Workday reporting is very, very good in terms of capabilities and dashboards. You can drill down very quickly,” says Tom. “It used to take days to get answers. Now, we’re in the meeting, and it’s just three clicks and immediately you’re down to, say, the invoice level. So, you can actually answer questions, solve problems and make decisions on the spot. It’s frictionless.”

Workday’s architectural principles around the way data is organised is quite powerful and unique.

Chief Technology Officer

A finance system that can pivot with the organisation.

Workday offers WSA the ability to update the charts of accounts to suit the business as it changes and grows. “We started simple as a small business. Next, we’ve moved into being a design house and a construction company – and our final destination will be to become an airport operator”, explains Tom. 

“So, that ability to pivot in a different direction – in terms of the chart of accounts and the hierarchy of that chart of accounts in the future – that’s really reassuring. We did a lot of work to understand when a chart of accounts is changed substantially: one, it’s easy to do; and two, it’s bulletproof in terms of our ability to report both historically and forecast into the future.” 

WSA is also about to implement Workday’s enterprise planning application, Workday Adaptive Planning. “We’ll start off small, in terms of just using it for cyclical budgeting processes. But, we see that as expanding quite rapidly into revenue, airplane route development and passenger forecasting.”

Because Workday HCM went live before the pandemic, we didn’t lose a single day of productivity.

Chief Technology Officer


New insights, deeper analysis and faster reactions.

During the pandemic, WSA was able to shift virtually and had a smooth remote deployment. “With finance, HR and the full procurement life cycle running on the Workday platform, its implementation has been a major milestone in terms of the maturity of our organisation,” says Tom. “The fact that it covered so many areas of our corporate capability meant we had all the information within those capabilities in an ordered and retrievable fashion and format.” 

“If you take a simple example like trend analysis against spend. Previously, I wasn’t seeing the information properly. I’d see trends sometimes two months after the actual event. Now, my finance colleagues and I can identify trends within days or weeks. So, we can make faster decisions, react quickly to new circumstances, and maintain our cadence against our cost envelope.”

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